Park to begin distance learning March 18

Minnesota schools closed until March 27 by Executive Order 20-02

Marta Hill and Talia Lissauer

Though the decision to cancel all Minnesota schools March 18-27 due to COVID-19 was not one Governor Tim Walz made lightly, he said the school closures will allow for a smooth transition if long-term cancellations are necessary. 

“While children have proven to be less vulnerable to this virus, we haven’t seen significant spreading in our schools, we do anticipate that COVID-19 will have a sizable impact on our education system in the coming weeks, months and potentially the coming year,” Walz said in a press conference March 15. 

Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Education Mary Ricker said the situation is being evaluated on a daily basis but schools should plan on resuming their normal schedules March 30.

 “There will be no universal care or instruction delivered to students during this two week planning period,” Ricker said during the press conference.

Student services including counseling and social workers will still be performing their regular duties via phone and email, according to the letter to teachers and staff released March 16. 

According to the letter March 16, St. Louis Park Schools will begin distance learning March 17. 

“TEACHERS will be expected to connect with students and work on their Distance Learning Plans as part of Emergency Executive Order 20-02. In most cases, we anticipate that this work can be performed from home,” the March 16 letter to teachers and staff said.

St. Louis Park teachers should be assigning two to three assignments a week per class and working with their departments to ensure a standard lesson, according to the letter. 

“We are greatly appreciative of the work you are doing to collaborate and provide resources to students to ensure that all of the children we serve will not have an extended interruption to learning during the March 18 through March 27 closure,” the March 16 letter to teachers and staff said.